In late 2013, Stellar Diamonds incorporated a subsidiary company in Liberia called Stellar Diamonds Liberia Inc. This company applied for two exploration licenses in 2014 which were approved by the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy in February 2016. The two licenses are known as EL 1157/16 (Biedien licence) covering 300 km² and EL1158/16 (Zoi licence) covering 370.5 km² in the diamond region of Kumgbo in northwestern Liberia. These are green field projects aimed discovering new primary kimberlite deposits.
Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, Stellar Diamonds Plc, through previous Liberian subsidiary companies, e conducted phased exploration work in western Liberia including reconnaissance and follow up stream sampling, loam and bulk sampling.
The stream sampling programmes yielded positive kimberlitic indicator minerals which lead to follow up work conducted in certain parts of those licences which subsequently led to the discovery of kimberlite dykes and pipes. Bulk sampling of the Stellar discovered Weasua kimberlites revealed low grade deposits which didn’t warrant further follow up. However, no follow up work was conducted around the Kumgbo area which is also known for the existence of kimberlite dykes and artisanal mining activity.
The location of the new licences are shown in Figure 1 below:
The area is accessible by road. There is a tarmac road from the Capital Monrovia to the County Headquarter of Bomi, thereafter gravelled road and forest track through Lofa Bridge to Kumgbo. Currently it takes between 8 to 10 hours to travel from Monrovia to Kumgbo and is only accessible by 4×4 vehicle.
Access to about 90% of the license is only possible on foot through thickly forested terrain. Active artisanal digging activity is concentrated around Kumgbo (which falls outside the exploration licenses) and to the eastern and western edges of the Biedien licence.
Kimberlite dykes have been confirmed to outcrop within the area and from the Ministry of Mines geology map of the area, it is evident that the dyke trend extends into the licences with two dykes indicated in the Biedien licence and one in the Zoi licence suggesting that there is a good possibility of finding new diamondiferous kimberlites within the licences.
A phased exploration approach focusing initially on stream sampling is being planned as follows:
- Follow up stream sampling in areas where positive samples were recovered
- Conducting detailed stream sampling in areas where the Geology map indicate dyke swarms within the licenses
- Conducting reconnaissance stream sampling in the remaining areas of the licenses.